COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Jalen Smith had 18 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Donta Scott scored 13 and No. 17 Maryland held off Purdue 57-50 on Saturday to remain unbeaten at home.
The Terrapins (14-4, 4-3 Big Ten) scored the game’s first nine points, led by 16 at halftime and managed to stay in front after Purdue closed to 52-47 with 6 minutes left.
Aaron Wiggins scored 12 points and Anthony Cowan had seven assists for Maryland, now 11-0 at home. The Terps were coming off two straight losses on the road, where they’re 0-4.
Nojel Eastern scored 14 points for the Boilermakers (10-8, 3-4). Looking for an encore to its 71-42 rout of Big Ten leader Michigan State last Sunday, Purdue instead fell to 1-5 on the road — its lone win at Ohio last month.
The Boilermakers trailed by 18 in the first half but outplayed the Terrapins over the final 20 minutes. The deficit was 10 points before Trevion Williams hit a jumper and Isaiah Thompson connected from beyond the arc to cut the margin to 5.
It was 53-50 before Smith followed a Purdue miss with a resounding dunk with 2:06 remaining. A series of missed shots and turnovers followed before Cowan made two free throws with 12.5 seconds to go.
Maryland won despite shooting 28 percent in the second half, including 0 for 9 from 3-point range.
The Boilermakers went scoreless over the final 3 minutes, 52 seconds. They were 8-0 this season when holding the opposition to 59 points or fewer.
The Terrapins held Purdue scoreless over the opening 4 1/2 minutes and took a 20-4 lead while getting assists on each of their first seven baskets. Five of those field goals were 3-pointers, including two apiece by Smith and Wiggins.
Minutes later, Scott hit a jumper and a pair of 3-pointers to make it 28-10. At that point, the Terps were 7 for 10 from beyond the arc.
On the other end, the Boilermakers shot 29 percent during the first 13 minutes and misfired on all four 3-point attempts.
Purdue: The Boilermakers just don’t seem to have the same intensity or shooting touch when on the road. That’s how it is for most Big Ten teams, but this defeat is hard to fathom immediately after a rout of Michigan State.
Maryland: If the Terrapins are going to struggle on the road, which seems to be the case, they’ve got to excel at home. And fortunately, that’s exactly what Maryland has done in College Park.
The Terps hope this victory offsets their disappointing 56-54 loss at Wisconsin on Tuesday and enables them to move up a notch or two in the Top 25.
Purdue hosts Illinois on Tuesday night. The Boilermakers were blown out by the Fighting Illini 63-37 on Jan. 5.
Maryland’s quest for its first road win continues Tuesday night at Northwestern, the cellar dwellers of the Big Ten.